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Japanese Hiragana kyokashotai I.png
U+3044, い



Stroke order
2 strokes

Etymology 1[edit]

Derived in the Heian period from writing the man'yōgana kanji in the cursive sōsho style.



(romaji i)

  1. The hiragana syllable (i). Its equivalent in katakana is (i). It is the second syllable in the gojūon order; its position is (a-gyō i-dan, row a, section i).
See also[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Old Japanese. Possibly cognate with Korean nominal particle (i).

Used in Old Japanese, still found in use in Chinese works annotated for Japanese readers of Early Middle Japanese in the early Heian period, then becoming more limited and appearing only in specialized Buddhist texts. Fallen into disuse by the late Heian period from the time of so-called “cloistered rule”.[1][2]

Obsolete. Not used in modern Japanese.


(rōmaji i)

  1. (obsolete) emphatic subject marker, added to nouns and verb stems
    • c. 759, Man'yōshū (book 4, poem 545)
      吾背子之 跡履求 追去者 木乃関守 将留鴨
    • c. 759, Man'yōshū (book 12, poem 3161)
      在千方 在名草目而 行目友 家有妹 将鬱悒
    • c. 759, Man'yōshū (book 13, poem 3287)
      乾坤乃 神乎禱而 吾恋 公必 不相在目八方
    • c. 759, Man'yōshū (book 14, poem 3393)
      筑波祢乃 乎弖毛許能母尓 毛利敝須恵 波播毛礼杼母 多麻曾阿比尓家留
    • 797: Shoku Nihongi (edict #6)
    • 797: Shoku Nihongi (edict #12)
    • 797: Shoku Nihongi (edict #34)
  2. (obsolete) emphatic phrase-final particle, emphasizing preceding phrase
    • c. 759, Man'yōshū (book 3, poem 481)
      白細之 袖指可倍弖 靡寢 吾黒髪乃 真白髪尓 成極新世尓 共将有跡 玉緒乃 不絶妹跡 結而石 事者不果 [...]
    • c. 759, Man'yōshū (book 7, poem 1359)
      向岳之 若楓木 下杖取 花待間尓 嘆鶴鴨
    • c. 759, Man'yōshū (book 10, poem 1851)
      青柳之 糸乃細紗 春風尓 不乱間尓 令視子裳欲得
  3. (obsolete) unbound nominalizing suffix:
    Examples: (ko, tree, bound form, only found in compounds) + i (ki, tree, standalone form), (taka, height, bound form) + i (take, height, standalone form), (ho, fire, bound form) + i (hi, fire, standalone form)
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 3[edit]

Reading of various kanji.


(-na inflection, rōmaji i)

  1. : great, excellent, magnificent
  2. : different; unusual, aberrant


(rōmaji i)

  1. : rank, place


(rōmaji -i)

  1. : rank, place; decimal place; ghosts
  2. : counter for the amount that can be encircled in one's arms, used as a rough measurement of circumference (roughly 1.5 meters)


(rōmaji i)

  1. : uncivilized people (living to the east of ancient Imperial China; included Japan); neutral color, something colorless
  2. : authority; threat
  3. : a watchman in the ancient Chinese military
  4. : intent; meaning; goodwill
  5. : something easy to do
  6. : the twelfth string on a koto (Japanese zither); a fingering method for playing the shakuhachi (Japanese flute)
  7. : (Buddhism) change or disease, one of the four states or avasthā
  8. : under the Ritsuryō system of ancient Japan, an official document exchanged between officials with no direct authority over each other
  9. : stomach; one of the twenty-eight mansions in the Chinese constellations system
  10. : clothing; robes
  11. : something fallen, something lost or left behind
  12. : medicine; a doctor
  13. : a well (water source)
  14. : one of the twelve Earthly Branches in the Chinese time system and zodiac
  15. : a dike or levee for containing water
  16. : being, sitting (in a place); a seat
  17. , : sleep
  18. : gallbladder; liver
  19. : pig, boar
  20. : a wife's sister; more specifically, a wife's younger sister; a mother's sister, a maternal aunt; a mistress (extramarital female lover); more specifically, a father's mistress
  21. : a curtain or hanging that covers all sides
  22. : in ancient China, a tripod kettle or other vessel used to make offerings to one's ancestors
  23. : a bulrush, a rush (plant)
  24. : the Chinese name of the 針鼠 (harinezumi, hedgehog)
  25. : in China, a special windscreen placed behind the throne, made of red cloth embroidered with a pattern of axes and used during imperial audiences; by extension, the throne itself


(rōmaji i)

  1. : five
  2. 五十: fifty


(rōmaji i-)

  1. : added to spiritual nouns to indicate purity and holiness


(rōmaji i)

  1. : you (second-person pronoun)

Proper noun[edit]

(rōmaji I)

  1. : Italy


  1. ^ 1988, 国語大辞典(新装版) (Kokugo Dai Jiten, Revised Edition) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Shogakukan
  2. ^ 2006, 大辞林 (Daijirin), Third Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō, →ISBN